Last Update: 6 August, 2015
These General Terms are applicable to all files of and advices given by & De Bandt Attorneys, having its registered office at Ijzerlaan/Avenue de l'Yser 19, 1040 Brussels, Belgium, and with company number 0893.065.340, hereinafter referred to as “we” or “our”.
Our objective is to provide the highest quality of legal service possible to our clients, in the most efficient and effective manner. Experience has proven that our relationship will benefit from a clear understanding of our fees/expenses and their payment, as well as of the other terms and conditions under which we render services to our clients.
We may conclude a specific engagement letter that sets forth the terms of our engagement; otherwise, these terms and conditions will apply to all the work we perform on all matters in which we are asked to represent our clients.
FEES – HOW THEY ARE DETERMINED
Our fees are based primarily on the amount of time spent on the matter by our lawyers and, in some instances, by in-house clerks. Each of our lawyers has an hourly billing rate, and the rate multiplied by the number of hours spent on a project is the initial basis for determining our fee. We may, however, adjust the charge downwards or upwards based on other factors such as the economic interest at stake, the novelty or complexity of the matter and the special expertise required to handle it, the extent of the responsibility involved, the priority given to our work, the efficiency of our work, the customary fees for similar legal services, the result that is obtained and other appropriate factors that will enable us to arrive at a fair fee under the circumstances. Thus, statements that are submitted prior to the closing statement are provisional to that extent. The normal range of rates (exclusive of VAT) can be summarised as follows:
Partner 300 to 420 EUR
Associate 150 to 280 EUR
Paralegal / Assistant 80 to 140 EUR
We review and adjust our basic hourly rates on a periodic basis.
Our attorneys will do their best to estimate fees and expenses for particular matters in advance when asked to do so. However, an estimate is just that, and since in the large majority of cases the extent and complexity of the work to be performed is impossible to predict with any degree of certainty, clients should appreciate that the amount of our fees is ultimately a result of many conditions over which we have no or very limited control. We will, upon request, provide you with monthly ex-post overviews of fees for the work that has been performed to date.
STATEMENTS OF FEES AND EXPENSES
We provide periodic statements to our clients for work that has been performed on a matter, usually on a monthly basis but where appropriate, or on request, with other intervals. Invoices are accompanied by a description of the services that were rendered.
For new clients, we normally require a retainer fee in advance in an amount sufficient to cover the initial efforts to be made on the matter. A retainer may also be requested where a substantial amount of work is to be performed.
Our statements relate to fees for services rendered as well as to office expenses. Office expenses charged to clients cover a part of our operating costs, and are invoiced as a lump sum equal to 6% (exclusive of VAT) of the amount of our fees, except where special disbursements (e.g., travel and lodging, and court fees) have been made.
PAYMENT OF OUR STATEMENTS
Our statements are due as of receipt. In case of failure to pay our statements promptly, interests of 10% will be charged on yearly basis. Additionally, such failure may force us to suspend or terminate our representation of you.
LIABILITY FOR OUR SERVICES
We are liable for our services according to the generally applicable rules of Belgian law, provided, however, that our liability shall in any event be limited to the amount that may be paid out under our professional liability insurance policies. These insurance policies are taken out with Amlin Europe, Van Heuven Goedhartlaan 939, 1181 LD Amstelveen (The Netherlands), Chartis Europe, Pleinlaan 11, 1050 Brussels (Belgium), Ethias, Rue des Croisiers 24, 4000 Liège (Belgium) and HDI-Gerling Industrie Versicherung, Tervurenlaan 273/1, 1150 Brussels (Belgium). They provide a global coverage, subject to clarifications and exceptions contained therein.
OTHER CLIENTS AND CLIENT MATTERS HANDLED BY OUR FIRM
& De Bandt is a specialised law firm that serves a variety of clients. We may currently or in the future represent one or more other clients involved in transactions or having other contacts with you and/or your affiliates. For example, we may represent other clients in commercial transactions (including, for example, preparation and negotiation of agreements, licences, ...), or other transactions involving you on behalf of other clients where we do not represent you on the same matter.
Unless agreed otherwise, we understand that you consent to the firm's current and future representation of any such other clients without the need for any further consent from you, as long as there is no direct conflict of interest. We understand that no such direct conflict would exist where the representation of another client is not substantially and adversely related to the matters the firm is handling for you, or where the firm's representation of either you or another client involves issues unrelated to the representation of the other. We do not view this prior consent as permitting unauthorized disclosure or use of any client confidences.
If you have questions about any aspect of our arrangements or our statements, we urge you to raise those questions with the partner in charge of your account. It is very important that we proceed on a clear and satisfactory basis in our work for you.